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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Group F - New Zealand

Nickname – All Whites, Kiwis

WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

When you have a player that scores more than half of your total goals means you have a class player that can decide a game at any time, that’s Shane Smeltz for New Zealand scoring 8 out of 14 Kiwis goals. Would you not book easily a playoff spot if you were in the group with New Caledonia, Fiji, Vanuatu? All Whites made it just to defeat later in the playoff minors Bahrain.

H2H

Jun 15 Rustenburg New Zealand v Slovakia - Even though they scored always more than once against European opponents, they don’t seem to be able to secure the result so the last time they won was against Georgia 3-1 back in 2006.

Jun 20 Nelspruit Italy v New Zealand - Only one match so far and what a tremendous match it was. 1-2 at half-time for New Zealand. 2-3 by the 57 minute still for New Zealand. And then in the last 20 minutes Italy scores twice by Iaquinta to finish the game 4-3 in favor of Italy. Can they deliver such a entertainer match in this World Cup?

Jun 24 Polokwane Paraguay v New Zealand - Remember the first show when Pascal stated that Real Madrid back in 2000 scored a lot of goals but conceded far more? Well, this seems to be the case for New Zealand, even though they score not less than 2 goals each time they play against most of their group competitors they concede more. Only game – Paraguay 3-2 New Zealand.

Goalkeepers: Mark Paston (Wellington Phoenix), Glen Moss (Melbourne Victory), James Bannatyne (Team Wellington)

Defenders: Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers), Ivan Vicelich (Auckland City), Ben Sigmund (Wellington Phoenix), Winston Reid (FC Midtjylland), Tommy Smith (Ipswich Town), Tony Lochhead (Wellington Phoenix), Andy Boyens (New York Red Bulls)

Midfielders: Simon Elliott (unattached), Tim Brown (Wellington Phoenix), Leo Bertos (Wellington Phoenix), Michael McGlinchey (Motherwell), Aaron Clapham (Canterbury United), David Mulligan (unattached), Jeremy Brockie (Newcastle Jets), Andy Barron (Team Wellington), Jeremy Christie (FC Tampa Bay)

Strikers: Chris Killen (Middlesbrough), Shane Smeltz (Gold Coast United), Chris Wood (West Bromwich Albion), Rory Fallon (Plymouth Argyle)

FORMATION

Ricki Herbert will need to make better than Johnny Herbert’s F1. He fuels his own team with a 5-3-2. Glen Moss; Nelsen, Vicelich, Boyens, Lochhead, Brown, Christie; Bertos, Brockie; Killen, Smeltz.

BEST PLAYERS

Ryan Nelsen registered 31 appearances, 4 goals and 1 assist this season. The top farmer of the Kiwis is the voice of command of the team beyond the captaincy that he holds whether at Premier League’s Blackburn and New Zealand squad. He is a strong central defender that capitalizes often from dead ball situations due to his height and aerial ability. He is the main assurance in the back line of New Zealand and they rely on him to impress in order to influence his teammates.

Shane Smeltz has just scored the winning goal that saw New Zealand unbelievably beating Serbia 1-0 in one of their latest warm-ups to the World Cup. He could have added further goals to his individual record but even though that has not happened, might be due to happen in the World Cup. He is considered to be the top forward of New Zealand and recently has had 9 goals under his signature for his nation.

SURPRISE

The surprise omissions have been Aaron Scott, the defender of Waitakere United that was very important in the qualifying stages. Also they will miss Costa Barbarouses from Brisbane Roar.

STATEMENTS

“This group have given it everything, four years of total commitment. We’re back, we’re there. South Africa, here we come.” New Zealand coach Ricki Herbert.

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- Ricki Herbert –

1 Oceania Confederation CUP - 2008;

Career made of 102 matches with 32% Win, 26% Draw, 41% Loss, GS 1,24 GA 1,52

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strength – As they are not technically brilliant they will rely on their physical approach because they have vigorous players. It will be a incognita whether this will be enough to achieve the second round or not.

Weaknesses – They lack magic, pace and individuals to break the opponent when their ability as a whole is not enough. Their players are not used to be big stages because most of them or are free transfer or play in leagues without the sufficient exposure. Take for instance the most prolific striker Smeltz. He was a player released 3 years ago from non-league club Halifax Town just to make now the deadlines as the best forward the Nation has.

Opportunities – Might look stupid, but…Scoring more than conceding will be the key factor for them to do anything impressive in this World Cup or even just in the group stages. They score a lot of goals, but they are weak either to maintain their winning margin or not be strong enough to come from behind.

Threats – Russian roulette full of bullets instead of one. They have threats coming from all over the place in this group. So they will have to impress a lot to get something out of this World Cup.

FIFA WORLD RANKINGS

Number 78 of the world being ahead of just South Africa and behind of all other World Cup contenders.

ACHIEVEMENTS

4 OFC Nations Cup – 1973, 1998, 2002, 2008.

CASTROL INDEX

LATEST 10 MATCHES

Tanzania 2 1 New Zealand

Botswana 0 0 New Zealand

Italy 4 3 New Zealand

New Zealand 0 5 Spain

South Africa 2 0 New Zealand

Iraq 0 0 New Zealand

Jordan 1 3 New Zealand

Bahrain 0 0 New Zealand

New Zealand 1 0 Bahrain

Mexico 2 0 New Zealand

Australia 2 1 New Zealand

New Zealand 1 0 Serbia

Slovenia 3 0 New Zealand


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